Canal Grande (Grand Canal) is the main boulevard of Venice, a navigable watercourse which crosses the historical center of the city from west to east. About 3800 meters long, with a width between 30 and 70 meters and an average depth of 5 meters, Canal Grande divides the historical center of Venice into two parts, tracing on the map an inverted S, which goes from the Liberty Bridge (Ponte della Libertà) to the Saint Mark’s Basin (Bacino San Marco). SHORT HISTORY OF CANAL GRANDE Already in pre-Roman times, groups of ancient Veneti people built stilt houses on the banks of the Grand Canal, and lived mainly from fishing and salt trade. Under the rule of the Roman Empire, and later of the Byzantine Empire, the lagoon was populated and acquired a certain importance. At the beginning of the 9th century, the doge moved his seat from the island of Lido to the more defensible land along the canal. The trade also moved to the Rialto area, which found a safe harbor accessible even to large boats, and various warehouses (fondachi), buildings designed specifically for trade, were built along the canal. ARCHITECTURE ON THE GRAND CANAL The Grand Canal Read more [...]
Castelvecchio (Old Castle) is a medieval castle located in the historical center of Verona, currently used as the seat of the homonymous civic museum. The castle is the most important military construction of the Scaliger dynasty, the family that ruled the city in the Middle Ages. Initially, the fortification was called Castello di San Martino in Aquaro, a name derived from a pre-existing church located on this place, dating back to the 8th century. The complex took the name of Castelvecchio after the construction of Castel San Pietro. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the castle was commissioned by Cangrande II della Scala in 1354. The fortress was placed to the south of the municipal wall, and took the form of a fortified residence, around the large rectangular enclosure of the Court of Arms (Corte d’Armi). The castle was completed in 1376 by Antonio and Bartolomeo II della Scala. At the same time, Ponte di Castelvecchio, the fortified bridge over the Adige, was built. The bridge, for the exclusive use of the castle, served as an escape route to the Adige Valley, preventing the river from becoming an insurmountable barrier. During the domination of the Visconti family, who took the Read more [...]
Basilica of San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica) is the Cathedral of Venice, located in the beautiful Piazza San Marco, in the sestiere (district) of San Marco. SHORT HISTORY A first church dedicated to Saint Mark was built in 828 by Doge Giustiniano Partecipazio next to the Doge’s Palace, to house the relics of the Saint stolen, according to tradition, from Alexandria, Egypt, by two Venetian merchants. This church replaced the previous Palatine chapel dedicated to the Byzantine Saint Theodore, built in correspondence with the current Piazzetta dei Leoncini, north of the current Basilica di San Marco. The church, consecrated in 832, was destroyed by fire during the revolt of 976 against Doge Candiano IV, and was rebuilt in 978 by Doge Pietro I Orseolo. The current Basilica dates back to 1063, and was begun by Doge Domenico Contarini and continued by Domenico Selvo and Vitale Falier. The consecration of the Basilica took place in 1094. The golden mosaic decoration of the interior was completed at the end of the 12th century, while the narthex (atrium) which surrounds the entire western arm of the church was built in the first half of the 13th century. Also in the 13th century, Read more [...]
The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is the most important Catholic church in Padua and one of the largest in the world. The church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, is visited every year by over 6.5 million pilgrims, making it one of the most revered shrines in the Christian world. Saint Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised in Lisbon, and died in Padua on June 13, 1231. He was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history. SHORT HISTORY In the Middle Ages, this place was located in a peripheral area of the city of Padua. Here, there was the small Church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, where Saint Anthony stayed for over a year between 1229 and 1231. When Saint Anthony died on June 13, 1231, his body was transfered to this small church and buried there, following his desire. Soon, many miraculous phenomena were recorded around his grave and pilgrims began to arrive first from the nearby districts and then from beyond the Alps. The canonical process took place in the Cathedral of Spoleto on May 30, 1232, where Pope Read more [...]
Basilica Palladiana is a palace in Vicenza, overlooking Piazza dei Signori, inextricably linked to the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The architect redesigned the Gothic Palazzo della Ragione by adding the loggias with the famous white marble serliane. A serliana, also known as a Palladian window, is an architectural motif popularized by Andrea Palladio, which consists of a window with three openings, the central one arched and wider than the lateral rectangular ones. Once the seat of the public magistrates of Vicenza, the Palladian Basilica is today equipped with three independent spaces, used to host architecture and art exhibitions. The building was included in 1994 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo della Ragione was built around the middle of the 15th century according to a project by Domenico da Venezia, incorporating two pre-existing public buildings. The Gothic facade of the palace was made of diamond-shaped red and yellow Verona marble, still visible behind the loggias. The building was the seat of the public magistrates of Vicenza and, on the ground floor, it housed a shop gallery. Adjacent to the building is the Bissara Tower, 82 meters in Read more [...]
Arena di Verona is a Roman amphitheater located in the historical center of Verona, in Piazza Bra. The Verona Arena is one of the best preserved amphitheaters in the world, thanks to the systematic restorations carried out since the 16th century. TIP: If you want to visit the Verona Arena without spending a very long time in the waiting line (which, by the way, is always there), buy your skip-the-line ticket in advance, to ensure you have a fast track access. SHORT HISTORY OF ARENA DI VERONA Arena di Verona was built around the year 30 AD, in an area outside the city walls. In 265, the Roman Emperor Gallienus decided to built a new stretch of wall, 550 meters long, to finally include the Arena. The amphitheater was slowly abandoned in the following centuries, due to the affirmation of Christianity and the consequent end of the gladiatorial games. During the reign of Theodoric the Great, at the beginning of the 5th century, some shows were held in the Arena, and therefore many chronicles of the time attributed the construction of the amphitheater to him. However, the most serious damage to the amphitheater was done by the same Read more [...]
Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is a magnificent church in Verona, dedicated to Saint Zeno, an early Christian Bishop of the city. One of the Romanesque masterpieces in Italy, the church develops on three levels, and the current structure dates back to the 11th century. SHORT HISTORY It is believed that Saint Zeno of Verona died between the years 372 and 380, and tradition has it that he was buried near the place where the basilica rises today. A first church was built in his honor above his tomb, and by 589, the structure was already restored and enlarged. At the beginning of the 9th century, Pepin of Italy, King of the Lombards, decided to build a larger and more beautiful church, and that the body of the old one to be transformed into a crypt. The consecration of the new building took place on December 8, 806, while on May 21 of the following year, the body of Saint Zeno was moved to the crypt. It seems that the church suffered considerable damage during the Hungarian invasions that took place between 899 and 933, and the city decided to rebuilt it. The reconstruction was commissioned by Bishop Raterio, Read more [...]
With 88,620 square meters, Prato della Valle is the largest square in Europe and one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The current configuration dates back to the late 18th century and is characterized by a central elliptical island, called Memmia island, surrounded by a canal on whose banks is a double ring of statues, with an outer circumference of 1450 meters. SHORT HISTORY In the Roman times, the area was known as Campo Marzio, named after Mars, the god of war, because it was used as a place for military meetings. Since the 12th century, various shows and games have been documented in Prato. From 1257, horse races are held here to commemorate the liberation from the tyranny of Ezzelino III da Romano. In 1310 a more extensive intervention in the area was carried out under the guidance of Fra Giovanni Eremitano. Between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, the town’s forgery was built near the Prato. During the 15th century, an imposing palace was built on the northern corner of Prato, as the residence of Cardinal Bessarione, now known as Palazzo Angeli. In 1498, the old Basilica of Santa Giustina Read more [...]
The Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), dedicated to St. Mary of the Charity, commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni and frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by the painter and architect Giotto di Bondone, is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. Since 2006, the Scrovegni Chapel has been nominated to become the second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Padua, the first being the 16th century botanical garden. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 14th century, Enrico Scrovegni, a rich Paduan banker, had bought a land in Padua, in an ancient Roman area, to build a sumptuous palace and a chapel that will be used as a family mausoleum. For painting the chapel, he comissioned the Florentine Giotto, who started the work in 1303 and finished it before March 25th, 1305, when the chapel was consecrated. Giotto painted the entire inner surface of the oratory with a unitary iconography, helped by a team of about forty employees. Palazzo Scrovegni was demolished in 1827 to obtain precious materials and make room for two condominiums, and the chapel was officially acquired by the Municipality of Padua. Immediately after the purchase, the condominiums were demolished and the chapel was restored. In Read more [...]
To get to know the supreme expression of Venetian culture, whether you are attracted to architecture, painting, sculpture or all together, a visit to the Doge’s Palace is imperative. Although we are often tempted to recommend the discovery of Venice on narrow streets and hidden canals, early in the morning or late in the evening, we can equally say that visiting Venice without seeing the Doge’s Palace, in the middle of the day, inside and outside, can be considered a missed visit. SHORT HISTORY Initially built of wood in the 9th century, the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) was rebuilt several times afterwards, acquiring the form we see today between 1340 and 1424, with the construction of the Great Council Chamber under the supervision of the architect Filippo Calendario. After that period, new constructions have been added to the palace, under the care of Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon (father and son), of which we can remember the Porta della Carta, the main entrance that directs visitors to the inner courtyard. After a major fire that occurred in 1483, the inner courtyard will be rebuilt in a Renaissance style by architect Antonio Rizzo. The exterior of the white and pink marble Read more [...]
Piazza San Marco, known in English as the St. Mark’s Square, is so famous that it does not need another presentation. A collection of religious, cultural, historical symbols, and a symbol in itself, this square is the dream of millions of tourists who are preparing to travel. Whoever you ask about Venice, or even better about the most important place in Venice, that person would give you one answer: Piazza San Marco. SHORT HISTORY During the 9th century, Piazza San Marco was just a small free area in front of the St. Mark’s Basilica. It was enlarged to the present form only in 1177, when the two canals that crossed it were filled. This change was made with the occasion of the visit of Pope Alexander III and Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who met in Venice to sign a truce. The square was paved for the first time in the second part of the 12th century, and the pavement was changed only six centuries later, in 1723. The design was the work of the architect Andrea Tirali. The pavement was restored in 1890, keeping the model used by Tirali. In 1797, Venice was under French occupation, and the Read more [...]
The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is the oldest of the four bridges crossing the Grand Canal, in Venice, and by far the most beautiful of them all. SHORT HISTORY OF THE RIALTO BRIDGE According to some chronicles, the first bridge over the Grand Canal built on this spot was a wooden bridge supported by boats. The first true bridge was built in the second half of the 12th century, more precisely around 1180, by the architect Nicolò Barattiero, during the time of Doge Sebastiano Ziani. The bridge was called Ponte della Moneta (Bridge of the Coins), due to a coin mint located nearby. The wooden bridge was replaced twice, in 1264, during the reign of Doge Renier Zen, and in 1310, when was damaged during the retreat of the rebels led by Bajamonte Tiepolo. In 1444, Ponte di Rialto collapsed under the weight of a large crowd gathered to watch the procession of the bride of the Marquis of Ferrara. In 1503, the construction of a stone bridge was proposed for the first time. The first project was carried out in 1514 by Fra Giovanni Giocondo, but the bridge didn’t last long and collapsed in 1524. In 1551, Read more [...]
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi is a street in Venice, located in the eastern part of the city, in the Castello district (sestiere). SHORT HISTORY OF VIA GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI Via Giuseppe Garibaldi was built in 1807, to connect the Canal of Saint Peter (Canale di San Pietro) with the Basin of Saint Mark (Bacino San Marco) in a straight line. The architect Giannantonio Selva, who was part of the Commission for the urban planning and architectural management of Venice, was entrusted with the work. To obtain the necessary space, various churches, convents and the Hospital of the Sailors (Spedale dei Marinai), located in the Church of San Nicolò di Castello, were demolished. Originally, the street was called Strada Nuova dei Giardini (New Street of the Gardens) because it led to the Public Gardens. Later, it was called Via Eugenia, in honor of Eugene of Beauharnais, the viceroy of Italy, stepson of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1866, after the entry of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s troops into Venice, the street was dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, to whom a monument was later erected at the entrance to the Gardens. Between 1993 and 1996, repaving and rehabilitation works were carried out with the aim of redeveloping the Read more [...]
Canale di San Donato is a watercourse on the beautiful island of Murano, in Venice. DESCRIPTION OF CANALE DI SAN DONATO The Canal of Saint Donatus is preceded by Canale San Giovanni to the south and divides into Canale Zenobio to the north and Canale di San Mattia to the west. The canal has a length of about 700 meters and a width between 15 and 25 meters. ARCHITECTURE Canale di San Donato has on its banks some remarkable monuments. The most important of them is the Basilica of Santa Maria e San Donato, also known as Duomo di Murano, one of the oldest churches in the Venetian Lagoon. The church was originally built in the 7th century and rebuilt in the 11th century. According to legend, the church contains the relics of Saint Donatus of Euroea and three large bones behind the altar said to be the bones of a dragon slain by the saint. On the banks of the canal, we can find ancient structures, such as Palazzo Giustinian, which houses the Glass Museum of Murano (Museo del Vetro), the former Monastery of San Martino, Ca’ Trevisan, Ca’ Pesaro-Pavanello, Palazzo Cappello, and the Tiepolo House (Casa Read more [...]
Rio dei Vetrai is a small watercourse in Venice, located on the beautiful island of Murano. The canal is dedicated to the local glassmakers (vetrai meaning glassmakers), and on its banks you can find many ancient glass factories. DESCRIPTION OF RIO DEI VETRAI Rio dei Vetrai has a length of about 500 meters and connects the Grand Canal of Murano, to the north, with Canale dei Marani, to the south. ARCHITECTURE The Church of San Pietro Martire is a church located on the western bank of the canal, in its northern part, dedicated to Saint Peter Martyr, a 13th-century Catholic priest. Across the canal, there is the former Church of Santo Stefano, dedicated to Saint Stephen, with its beautiful Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio), one of the symbols of Murano. The banks of the canal (Fondamenta Daniele Manin on the eastern bank and Fondamenta dei Vetrai on the western one) house many of the Murano glassworks. Among others, there are the former Franchetti Murano Glassworks from the 19th century, the Gino Mazzuccato Furnace, the CAM Furnace from the 16th century, the AVEM Glassworks founded in 1830, and the Mosaic Factory from the 16th century. On the banks of the Read more [...]
Palazzo Querini Benzon is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between the small Casa De Spirit and Casa Tornielli. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the early 18th century, and became famous thanks to Marina Querini, wife of Pietro Giovanni Benzon, who at the end of the Republic of Venice made her residence one of the most renowned literary Venetians salons, thanks to the frequentation of many important artists of the time. ARCHITECTURE The palace has no particular architectural merits. It has a water portal with a staircase, a noble floor with four-light windows with round arches, flanked by two pairs of single-light windows, all with balconies. The second floor was added in 1897, as a less valuable imitation of the noble floor. Above the cornice, in a central position, there is a balustrade terrace. The entire facade is plastered, with the exception of the ground floor, which is covered in stone, except for the mezzanine. HOW TO GET THERE On foot, Palazzo Querini Benzon is located about 2.3 kilometers away from the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The closest vaporetto stop is Sant’Angelo, located about 240 Read more [...]
Palazzo D’Anna Viaro Martinengo Volpi di Misurata, also known as Palazzo Talenti D’Anna Volpi, is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Tron and Casa Marinoni. SHORT HISTORY Built in the early 16th century at the behest of the Talenti family, it soon passed to the wealthy Flemish merchant Martino D’Anna. The expansion of the building, which took place around the middle of the 17th century, is due to the subsequent owners, the Viaro, an ancient and noble Venetian family. During the 18th century, the building changed ownership again, initially by inheritance to the Venetian patricians Foscarini, and subsequently to the Martinengo counts, while in the 19th century it became the property of Count Giovanni Conti. In 1917, the entrepreneur Giuseppe Volpi became the owner. In 1925, he was awarded the title of Count of Misrata. ARCHITECTURE At first glance, the facade of the building appears to be divided into four sections with two alternating structural types, but looking more carefully, we see that the first section on the left was added later. The original palace, composed of the three sections on the right, is built in Renaissance Read more [...]
Palazzo Corner Spinelli is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal, across the canal from Palazzo Querini Dubois. SHORT HISTORY The palace was commissioned by the Lando family, most probably to the architect Mauro Codussi. It was built between 1480 and 1490. In 1542, the palace was sold, due to the disastrous economic situation of the Lando family. It passed to the Corner family, who entrusted Michele Sanmicheli and Giorgio Vasari with the task of modernizing the interior of the building. The facade was preserved, while the whole rear part was rebuilt. The interventions relating to the interiors are attributable to the Classic style: use of columns and round arches, as well as the insertion of fireplaces in all the main rooms. Between 1740 and 1810, the palace was rented to the Spinelli family. Later, it was bought by the Cornoldi family. In 1850, it became the property of the dancer Maria Taglioni, also owner of Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, Palazzo Barzizza and Ca’ d’Oro. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Corner Spinelli is a beautiful example of the transition from the Gothic forms, predominant in Venice up to the 15th century, to the new Read more [...]
Palazzo Garzoni is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal, between Rio di Ca’ Garzoni and Fondaco Marcello. SHORT HISTORY The Garzoni family, originally from Bologna, settled in Venice towards the end of the 13th century. In the 17th century, they acquired this palace built in the 15th century, which became known by their name ever since. Until 2019, the palace was owned by the Ca’ Foscari University, which established the language faculty there. In 2019, it was bought by an anonymous buyer through the famous British auction house Sotheby’s for an unspecified price. ARCHITECTURE The palace has three floors and an attic. On the ground floor, there is the water portal with a round arch, flanked by four small windows, two oval windows above and two rectangular below. Each of the two noble floors have a central ogival four-lancet window and two pairs of lateral single-light windows, all closed by balconies. Between the third floor and the attic, there is a bas-relief with two cupids holding an empty shield, where the family coat of arms once stood. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Garzoni is located about 2.3 kilometers Read more [...]
Ca’ Rezzonico is one of the most famous palaces in Venice, located in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Contarini Michiel and Palazzo Bernardo Nani. SHORT HISTORY The palace was designed in 1649 by Baldassarre Longhena for the Bon family. The construction began only in 1667, with the demolition of the existing buildings. Due to the economic difficulties of the family and the death of Longhena in 1682, the construction was abandoned. Only the facade towards the Grand Canal and a first floor were completed. The Della Torre-Rezzonico family settled in Venice in 1687. A member of this family, Giambattista, bought the building in 1751. He entrusted the project to Giorgio Massari, who built the second floor in 1752, and completed the palace in 1758. Between the autumn of 1847 and 1848, the palace was the residence of Carlos María Isidro of Spain, protected by the Austrian government. In 1888, it was bought by Robert Barrett Browning, son of the English writers Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who restored it thanks to the financial support of his wife, the American Fannie Coddington. In 1906, Robert Barrett Browning, ignoring an offer made to him by Read more [...]
Palazzo Salviati is a beautiful palace in Venice, located in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff and Palazzo Orio Semitecolo Benzon. SHORT HISTORY The Salviati glass factory was founded in 1859 by Antonio Salviati. The palace was built as an exhibition venue and a furnace for the factory between 1903 and 1906, based on a design by the architect Giacomo Dell’Olivo. In 1924, the building underwent a profound renovation, which involved the raising with a floor and the placement of a large mosaic on the facade. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, which has a rather simple appearance, would be devoid of any interest without the presence of the large central mosaic, on the sides of which there are two single-lancet windows. On the upper floor, there are four windows with small balconies. The ground floor is dominated by three large arches. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Salviati is located about 2.3 kilometers on foot from the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The closest vaporetto stop is Accademia, about 300 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 1 and 2.
The Church of San Lorenzo is a church in Venice, located in the Castello district (sestiere), overlooking Campo San Lorenzo. Together with the Chapel of San Sebastiano, the church was part of the Benedictine monastery of the same name. SHORT HISTORY The church was built starting with 809, at the behest of Doge Agnello Partecipazio. In 1007, the Chapel of San Sebastiano was built next to San Lorenzo by the future Doge Ottone Orseolo. The church and the chapel were badly damaged in the disastrous fire of 1105. In 1592, the rebuilding of the Church of San Lorenzo began, on a project by Simone Sorella. The church was completed in 1602 and rededicated in 1617. The facade remained unfinished. The Chapel of San Sebastiano was also rebuilt between 1629 and 1632, with other interventions in 1748. On April 25, 1810, after the suppression of all religious orders, the nuns left the monastery, all the assets passed into the hands of the state, and the religious complex was closed. In 1821, the church passed under municipal administration, and in 1853 it was restored. In 1875, San Lorenzo was transformed into a hospital, in 1946 it became an infirmary for the Read more [...]
Palazzo Pesaro Papafava is a palace in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district (sestiere), overlooking Canale della Misericordia. The palace stands across the canal from Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Pesaro Papafava was built at the beginning of the 15th century. It was owned by the Pesaro family until Pesarina Pesaro married Bonifacio Papafava, in 1615. ARCHITECTURE The palace has a facade developed on four floors, characterized by a prevalence of Gothic elements. The expressive power of the facade is concentrated in the central axis, formed by the superimposition of two four-light windows with a small balcony between. Each four-light window is flanked by two pairs of single windows. On the ground floor, there is the pointed water portal, flanked by four single-light windows. The left body, which has rounded openings, is more recent. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Pesaro Papafava is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The closest waterbus stop is Fondamente Nove, on the vaporetto Lines 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 12, 13 and 22.
Piazza Castello is one of the main squares of Vicenza, located in the western part of the historical center of the city, near the Salvi Gardens and Loggia Valmarana. DESCRIPTION Piazza Castello hosts several Palladian palaces. The most important, located in the southern part of the square, is Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello, also known as Porto Breganze, designed around 1571 by the architect Andrea Palladio for Alessandro Porto. In the northern part of Piazza Castello, we can find Palazzo Thiene Bonin Longare, another palace designed by Andrea Palladio presumably in 1572, and built by Vincenzo Scamozzi after the death of the architect. Other important buildings in the square are Palazzo Piovini and the medieval Tower of Porta Castello. The square also houses a statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, made by Ettore Ferrari in 1887. HOW TO GET THERE Piazza Castello is located about 500 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is right in the square, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 18.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Berico is a church in Vicenza, located in an elevated position on the top of the Monte Berico Hill, overlooking the city. The sanctuary is actually composed of two churches: the first, in Gothic style, from the 15th century, and the second, in Baroque style, from the second half of the 17th century. SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the construction of the first church is connected to two apparitions of the Madonna, which a woman from Sovizzo named Vincenza Pasini witnessed in 1426 and 1428. In these apparitions, the Madonna asked for the construction of a church dedicated to her. At first, the Municipality of Vicenza built in only three months a modest rectangular room. The administration of the church was initially entrusted to the Order of Santa Brigida, but in 1435 the friars were removed, and were replaced by the Servants of Mary. Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Servites completed the convent, with the erection of the cloister, the guesthouse, the infirmary and the bell-tower. Near the end of the century, the church was enlarged towards the east, the old choir was replaced, the sacristy and the main Read more [...]
Piazza dei Signori is the main square of Vicenza, located in the historical center of the city. Originally a Roman forum and then a market, the square is best known today for the Basilica Palladiana, the grandiose work of Andrea Palladio. The square has a rectangular shape and is delimited to the southwest by the Palladian Basilica and the Bissara Tower, while on the opposite side we can find Loggia del Capitaniato and Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, which incorporates the beautiful Church of San Vincenzo. SHORT HISTORY In antiquity, the area of Piazza dei Signori was the site of the Roman forum of Vicetia. Later, during the Middle Ages, the area was called Perònio, and was the center of the political, commercial and social life of the city. The oldest building in the square is the Bissara Tower (Torre Bissara), built in 1174 at the behest of the Bissara family, next to their palace. In the 13th century, the municipality of Vicenza bought both the palace and the tower. After escaping the terrible earthquake of January 25, 1348, the tower was raised around the middle of the 15th century, reaching its current height. Near the tower, stands the Read more [...]
Loggia del Capitaniato, also known as Palazzo del Capitaniato or Loggia Bernarda, is a palace in Vicenza, located in the central Piazza dei Signori, in front of Basilica Palladiana. The palace, designed in 1565 by the architect Andrea Palladio, is currently the seat of the city council. In 1994, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY In 1565, the Municipality of Vicenza asked Andrea Palladio to build a palace for the Captain, the military head in charge of the city on behalf of the Republic of Venice. The palace was to replace a pre-existing medieval building, already used as the residence of the Captain. Because the construction of the Palladian Basilica was still in progress, Palladio found himself engaged on two fronts located in the same square. For Palazzo del Capitaniato, he was able to exploit the architectural and stylistic knowledge acquired in the last 20 years of work in Vicenza. Like many other buildings of the Venetian architect, the palace remained partially unfinished. The works were stopped in 1572, with only three bays built, instead of the five or seven originally planned. Just like Read more [...]
The Church of San Vincenzo is a beautiful church in Vicenza, located in Piazza dei Signori, in front of the Palladian Basilica. The church is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of the city. SHORT HISTORY After the Christian martyr Vincent of Saragossa was killed in 304 during the persecution of Christians under Diocletian, his cult spread rapidly throughout Europe, reaching Vicenza in the first centuries of our Era. In the second half of the 14th century, during the Scaligeri domination of the city, the cult of San Vincenzo was revived. The construction of a church dedicated to him was begun in 1385 and completed in 1387. During the 15th century, the church was rebuilt and its facade was oriented towards Piazza dei Signori. In 1486, a Monte di Pietà office was created in Vicenza by the Catholic Church, which established a pawnshop in the Church of San Vincenzo. Ten years later, the Monte di Pietà building collapsed and, in 1499, work began on a new building adjacent to the church, with the simultaneous renovation of the church itself. During the 16th century, the works were completed with the construction of the two wings of the Read more [...]
Ponte San Michele (Saint Michael Bridge) is a pedestrian only bridge over the Retrone River, in Vicenza, located in the southeastern part of the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY A wooden bridge was built on this site in 1265, and replaced in 1422 with a stone bridge. The current bridge was built between 1621 and 1623 on the model of Venetian bridges by the architects Tomaso and Francesco Contini. The name of the bridge derives from the Romanesque-Gothic Church of San Michele, located nearby, built in the 13th century by the Augustinians, but destroyed in the Napoleonic era. HOW TO GET THERE Ponte San Michele is located about 950 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Largo Neri Pozza, about 160 meters away, on the bus Line 10.
The Church of Santa Maria in Foro is a church in Vicenza, located in Piazza Biade, a small square adjacent to Piazza dei Signori. The church is also called dei Servi, due to the fact that it was built by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary. SHORT HISTORY The church was built starting with 1404, the year in which Vicenza passed under the domination of the Republic of Venice. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Servite Order arrived in Vicenza and entrusted the construction of the church to the architect Giampietro Cirmisone, who completed the works in 1425. Some decorations were added between 1432 and 1435. The Servants of Mary lived in the adjacent convent until 1788, when the order was suppressed. Afterwards, the Municipality of Vicenza took care of the church until 1797, when the building became a military warehouse for the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1810, the parish of the Church of San Michele was transferred here, and the Church of Santa Maria in Foro was again open for worship. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The plain facade of the church is embellished by nine statues, two of which are attributed to the sculptor Read more [...]
The Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is a sculpture in Vicenza, located in the historical center of the city, in Piazza Castello. SHORT HISTORY The statue was sculpted by Ettore Ferrari, and inaugurated on August 21, 1887, on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Garibaldi’s entry into Reggio Calabria. The inauguration took place under heavy rain. HOW TO GET THERE The Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is located about 550 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is near the monument, in Piazza Castello, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 18.
Parco Querini is a public park in Vicenza, located in the northern part of the historical center of the city. The park takes its name from a building located in the immediate vicinity, a noble residence first owned by the Capra family, then purchased by the Querini family. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 19th century, a document reports that the area of the current park, owned by the Capra family, included meadows, vineyards and vegetable gardens. In 1811, Antonio Capra, notary and councilor of Vicenza, bought from the Municipality the former monastery of the Poor Clares of Araceli. In 1813, the monastery disappeared and in its place are indicated an orchard, a garden and greenhouses, a sign that the new owner intended to expand and embellish the garden. In 1821, a long avenue was built that leads to a circular hillock dominated by a small round temple surrounded by water. In 1969, 9.5 hectares were expropriated by the Municipality, and two years later the area was opened to the public as a city park. DESCRIPTION Parco Querini is surrounded on two sides by the banks of the Bacchiglione River and its tributary Astichello. From the back Read more [...]
The Church of San Rocco is a Renaissance church in Vicenza, located in Contrà Mure San Rocco, in the western part of the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the church began in 1485, on the site of an ancient oratory dedicated to San Rocco (Saint Roch). The adjoining monastery was built around the same time, where a community of Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga was established in 1486. Around 1530, the church was extended towards the east and a new facade was built. In December 1670, the Carmelites of San Zaccaria of Venice replaced the Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga, and remained there until 1806, when, after the French returned to Vicenza, were relocated to the Convent of San Domenico. In 1810, the religious complex was suppressed by the Napoleonic decrees, and all the assets were confiscated by the Municipality. Later, the monastery was transformed into an orphanage, and remained so until the end of the 1980s. Today, in addition to religious functions, the church hosts concerts by the polyphonic Choir of the Schola San Rocco. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church dates back to 1530, when the building Read more [...]
Palazzo Angaran, also known as Palazzo Magrè Angaran, is a Renaissance-style palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza XX Settembre, in front of Ponte degli Angeli. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built around 1480 at the behest of Battista Magrè, on a piece of land belonging to the family, probably by the Vicentine architect Tommaso Formenton. In 1552, the palace was bought by Giacomo Angaran, a friend of Andrea Palladio, who asked the architect to prepare a sumptuous invention to replace the existing building. Palladio designed the project, but it was never realized. The last owner, Ottavio Angaran Porto, ceded the property to the Municipality of Vicenza, which allowed the building to deteriorate. In 1899, a few years after the disastrous flood of 1882, to avoid further damages caused by the frequent flooding of the nearby Bacchiglione River, the street level around the building was raised, almost completely burying the portico. In the second decade of the 20th century, the building was so badly deteriorated, that the Municipality of Vicenza considered demolishing it. Starting from 1921, however, the restoration began. The palace was dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt to a higher level, replacing only the dilapidated moldings and the Read more [...]
Loggia Valmarana is a Palladian-style loggia in Vicenza, located on the northeastern corner of the Salvi Gardens (Giardini Salvi), opposite the main entrance from Viale Roma. Since 1994, together with the other Palladian buildings in Vicenza, Loggia Valmarana is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY The land adjacent to the walls of Piazza Castello was acquired in the 16th century by the Valmarana family, and Giacomo Valmarana himself designed the arrangement of the garden, around the middle of the 16th century. The gardens were inaugurated in 1592 by Leonardo Valmarana, but soon were closed and reopened to the public only in 1909. Inside the gardens, there are two Palladian-style loggias: one from the 17th century, with three arches, known as Loggia Longhena, on the western side of the park, and the second, built at the end of the 16th century, known as Loggia Valmarana, structured as a hexastyle temple. Loggia Valmarana was probably built in 1591 by a pupil of Andrea Palladio, and not by Palladio itself, as it was once thought. ARCHITECTURE Loggia Valmarana rises above the waters of the Seriola Canal, at the Read more [...]
Rio dell’Arsenale is a watercourse in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of Castello, near the Venetian Arsenal (Arsenale di Venezia). Initially called Rio de la Madonna, the canal was later named after the Venetian Arsenal. DESCRIPTION Rio dell’Arsenale has a length of about 260 meters, and practically expands Canale delle Galeazze, the main artery of the Venetian Arsenal, towards the south, where it joins the San Marco Basin. ARCHITECTURE From north to south, along its course, we can see the magnificent gate of the Arsenal of Venice, Ponte dell’Arsenale, also know as Ponte del Paradiso, the Naval History Museum of Venice (Museo Storico Navale di Venezia), Campo San Biagio with the Church of San Biagio, and finally, before the canal joins the San Marco Basin, Ponte San Biasio delle Catene. Porta Magna, the main gate of the Arsenal of Venice, was built around 1460 in Venetian Renaissance style. The gate was probably built by Antonio Gambello after a design by Jacopo Bellini. Two sculptures of lions were brought from Greece in 1687, and placed in front of the gate. The Naval History Museum is a museum owned by the Italian Navy. The museum collects historical evidence concerning Read more [...]
Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff is a palace in Venice, located in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Dario and Palazzo Salviati. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff was probably built before the 14th century, in Venetian-Byzantine style. In the 15th century, the palace was renovated in Gothic style. In 1894, the Italian actress Eleonora Duse, rated by many as the greatest of her time, lived for a while on the top floor of the palace as a guest of the Russian botanist and painter Alexander Wolkoff-Muromtsev, who recently bought the building. ARCHITECTURE The palace, built almost entirely of red bricks, has five floors: ground floor, mezzanine, main floor (piano nobile) and two upper floors. The facade is dominated by the hexafora (six-light window) of the noble floor, enclosed by a serrated frame. Other Gothic elements are the water portal, and the windows on the upper floors: a bifora and a quadrifora on the fourth floor, and a trifora and a monofora on the fifth floor. HOW TO GET THERE The closest vaporetto stop is Salute, located about 210 meters away, on the waterbus Line 1, although the best place to admire the palace is across Read more [...]
Rio del Ponte Longo is a watercourse in Venice, located on the island of Giudecca, in the sestiere (district) of Dorsoduro. DESCRIPTION Rio del Ponte Longo has a length of about 300 meters and a width varying between 30 and 40 meters. It crosses the island of Giudecca from north to south, where it joins the Giudecca Canal. The canal is crossed by Ponte Longo (Long Bridge), connecting Fondamenta Ponte Longo and Fondamenta San Giacomo. The bridge was originally built of wood in 1340, to connect the older part of the island with the newer one. Later, the wooden bridge was replaced by an iron bridge. HOW TO GET THERE The closest vaporetto stop is Redentore, about 350 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 2, 4.1 and 4.2.
Canal Grande di Murano (Grand Canal of Murano) is the main watercourse of Murano, which flows from east to west for about 1.3 kilometers, dividing the island in two. DESCRIPTION From east to west, the canal has three distinctive parts: Canale San Giovanni, Canale Ponte Longo and Canale degli Angeli. The first part, Canale San Giovanni, flows from south to north, has a length of about 300 meters and a width of 60-70 meters. At one point, Canale San Giovanni intersects with Canale di San Donato, which flows to the northeast, and changes its course to the west, transforming into Canale Ponte Longo. The second part, Canale Ponte Longo, has a length of about 300 meters and a width of about 40 meters. It stretches from the intersection with Canale di San Donato up to Ponte Longo, the only bridge crossing the Grand Canal of Murano. After the bridge, to the west, there is the third part of Canal Grande di Murano: Canale degli Angeli. This part has a length of about 700 meters, and a width between 40 and 150 meters. It flows into the Venetian Lagoon, west of Murano. ARCHITECTURE The only bridge over the Grand Read more [...]
Hotel Dolomiti is a 3-Star hotel in Malcesine, located about 230 meters away from Castello Scaligero. All the rooms of the hotel come in a modern style, with parquet floors and air conditioning. Each room features a private bathroom with a shower. Some are complete with a balcony or terrace. The hotel offers a sun terrace with swimming pool and mountain views. International breakfast is available on request. HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Dolomiti is located about 100 meters away on foot from the Malcesine bus station. From there, you can take the ATV bus Line 484 to Garda, and then one of the buses 162, 163, 164, 165 to Verona.
Casa Titi is a villa in Malcesine, located about 600 meters away from Castello Scaligero and about 160 meters away from the Monte Baldo cable car. The villa is equipped with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with lake views. Casa Titi provides accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning, a garden and barbecue facilities. The villa features free private parking. HOW TO GET THERE Casa Titi is located about 550 meters away on foot from the Malcesine bus station. From there, you can take the ATV bus Line 484 to Garda, and then one of the buses 162, 163, 164, 165 to Verona.
Hotel Malcesine is a 3-Star hotel in Malcesine, located on the shore of Lake Garda, at the foot of Mount Baldo. Rooms at Hotel Malcesine are simply furnished and have private bathrooms. Some offer a balcony or a terrace. At the hotel, you will find a bar, a restaurant and a cozy dining room, where the free buffet breakfast is served. The hotel also features a sun terrace, with sun umbrellas, lounge chairs and wonderful panoramic views of the lake. HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Malcesine is located about 350 meters away on foot from the Malcesine bus station. From there, you can take the ATV bus Line 484 to Garda, and then one of the buses 162, 163, 164, 165 to Verona.
The Port of Malcesine is a small picturesque port on the shore of Lake Garda, located in Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, in Malcesine. The port is surrounded by many restaurants, bars and cafes, where you can relax and admire the lake. There are also several hotels in the area. From the Port of Malcesine, you can take boat trips on the lake, to other towns located on its shores. HOW TO GET THERE On foot, the Port of Malcesine is located about 240 meters away from the Malcesine bus station. From there, you can take the ATV bus Line 484 to Garda, and then one of the buses 162, 163, 164, 165 to Verona.
The Church of the Madonna della Fontana is a church in Malcesine, located in Via Gardesana, about 1 kilometer away from Castello Scaligero. The church is called della Fontana (of the Fountain), because of a spring located nearby. SHORT HISTORY In 1532, a small oratory dedicated to the Virgin was built on this site by the Municipality of Malcesine. At the beginning of the 17th century, the need for a larger church appeared. The new church was completed and opened for worship in 1626. On July 25, 1797, the French of Napoleon Bonaparte closed the church, removed the registers and confiscated all the assets. In a state of neglect, the church was used as a warehouse during the First and the Second World War. After it was restored in 1959, the church was reopened for worship, and today is used only on specific holydays. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is plain, covered with yellow plaster. In the lower part of the facade, delimited from the upper one by a stone strip, there is a beautiful Baroque portal, surmounted by a tympanum and a coat of arms, flanked on the sides by two rectangular windows. In the upper Read more [...]
Castello Scaligero is a medieval castle in Malcesine, built on a rock on the shore of Lake Garda. The castle, a national monument since 1902, is owned by the Municipality of Malcesine since 2017. SHORT HISTORY A fortress was probably built on this site in the 5th century by the Langobards. It was destroyed by the Franks in 590, and later rebuilt. According to legend, in 806, the castle hosted King Pepin of Italy, who came to Malcesine to visit the Saints Benigno and Caro. After the Hungarian invasions, it became the property of the Bishop of Verona. Between 1277 and 1387, Castello Scaligero was the residence of the Della Scala family of Milan. Later, it was occupied by the Visconti, another noble Milanese family, who lost ownership in 1403. For the next ten years, the castle was at the center of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Venice and the German Empire. In May, 1513, the Republic of Venice conquered Malcesine, and the castle became a Venetian dominion. In 1797, the castle passed to the French of Napoleon Bonaparte, and later to the Austrians. ARCHITECTURE The fortified tower of the castle stands at a height of Read more [...]
Palazzo Mocenigo is a palace in Venice, located on the Giudecca island, in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), not far from the Church of Santa Maria della Presentazione. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Mocenigo was built in the 16th century for the Mocenigo family, as a summer residence, in a time when the island of Giudecca was an area of gardens and places to relax. The palace was the favorite summer residence of the doge Alvise Mocenigo. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, the palace was remodeled, losing many characteristic elements. Today, the interior is heavily modified, and the palace houses numerous mini-apartments. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Mocenigo is a two-storey building, with a long rusticated facade in Istrian stone. The ground floor has a series of small quadrangular windows, and a small portal in the center. The noble floor (piano nobile) is characterized by eight arched single-light windows, each equipped with a wrought iron railing and a keystone mask on top. The attic has eight oculi added in the 19th century, corresponding to the windows below. In a central position, on the roof, there is a 19th-century dormer window with three openings. The southern facade is well preserved and overlooks the private Read more [...]
Canale di Cannaregio is one of the most important waterways in Venice. It connects the Grand Canal with the northern lagoon by crossing the western area of the Cannaregio district (sestiere), between Fondamenta di San Giobbe and Fondamenta di Cannaregio. DESCRIPTION Canale di Cannaregio has a minimum width of 22 meters as it passes under Ponte delle Guglie, a maximum width of 27 meters in front of the Ca’ Foscari University Campus, and is about 800 meters long. Due to its size, the canal allows crossing not only for small boats, but also for the ACTV waterbuses. ARCHITECTURE Two bridges cross the canal – Ponte delle Guglie (Bridge of Spires), dating back to the 16th century, the only one in Venice adorned with pinnacles, and Ponte dei Tre Archi (Bridge of the Three Arches), the only example of a multi-arched bridge in the city. At the intersection with the Grand Canal, there is the Church of San Geremia e Santa Lucia, built starting with 1753. The two facades of the church were built in the second half of the 18th century, one facing Campo San Geremia, and the other overlooking the Cannaregio Canal. Next, on the western bank Read more [...]
Scuola Grande di San Marco is a Renaissance building in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of Castello, in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, adjacent to the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo. SHORT HISTORY The edifice was built in 1260 in the area of today’s Papadopoli Gardens as the seat of the Confraternity of San Marco. In 1437, the Dominicans of the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo granted an adjacent area for the construction of a new structure, which in 1485 was devastated by a fire. Within the next years, the structure was rebuilt on a design by Pietro Lombardo and Giovanni Buora. In 1490, the works were entrusted to Mauro Codussi, who completed the facade and built the internal staircase. In the 16th century, the facade towards Rio dei Mendicanti was built, apparently with the contribution of Jacopo Sansovino. In 1807, under the Napoleonic rule, the Confraternity of San Marco was suppressed, and the building became the seat of the Austrian military hospital. Later, it was transformed into a civil hospital. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade, a delicate composition of aedicules, Corinthian pilasters and statues in white and polychrome marble, is a Renaissance jewel. The Read more [...]
Ca’ Giustinian is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of San Marco, overlooking the Grand Canal, in front of Punta della Dogana. SHORT HISTORY The palace was commissioned by the Giustinian family, one of the most illustrious families of the Venetian patriciate, in the second half of the 15th century, in place of a pre-existing building, in which Lorenzo Giustinian, the first patriarch of Venice, lived in the first half of the century. In the 17th century, the palace passed to the Morosini family. In 1820, the structure was transformed into Albergo all’Europa, which hosted, among others, famous people like Théophile Gautier, Marcel Proust and Giuseppe Verdi. On October 19, 1866, in a room of the Hotel Europa, the French plenipotentiary general Edmond Le Bœuf signed the transfer of the Veneto region to the Kingdom of Italy. After being purchased by the Municipality of Venice, the building was completely restored, and today houses the offices of the Venice Biennale. ARCHITECTURE The large facade of the palace consists of four floors divided by string courses in Gothic style. Most of the openings are single-lancet windows with white stone frames on the brick surface. On the ground Read more [...]
Palazzo Treves de Bonfili, also known as Palazzo Barozzi Emo Treves de Bonfili, is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal, near Rio di San Moisè. SHORT HISTORY In the 12th century, a palace was built on this site by the Barozzi family. The crenellated palace was enriched by a loggia, a portico and two large square towers. In the 18th century, the building underwent massive renovations, which were however interrupted with the transfer of ownership to the noble Emo family. In 1827, the entire complex was purchased by the bankers of the Treves family, barons of Bonfili. They enriched the interior with many works of art, without altering the unfinished facade. The palace, which was in a precarious state, was recently renovated, and its exterior was painted pink. ARCHITECTURE The main facade of the palace is the one facing Rio di San Moise, not the one overlooking the Grand Canal. It was the decision of Bartolomeo Manopola, the architect who oversaw the restoration of the 18th century. The facade on the Grand Canal is divided into two sectors – the one on the left, simpler, is a remnant of Read more [...]